Hope Hicks says Cohen would ‘insert himself’ into Trump’s campaign, go ‘rogue’: ‘He wasn’t supposed to be on the campaign’

The New York criminal case against former President Donald Trump continued for the eleventh day on Friday, with one of the prosecution’s so-called key witnesses, Hope Hicks, taking the stand. Hicks was Trump’s former White House communications director and campaign aide.

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo questioned Hicks. During her testimony, Hicks stated that she “was concerned” when she received an email request for comment from the Washington Post regarding a piece on the “Access Hollywood” tape.

“I was concerned about the contents of the email. I was concerned about the lack of time to respond. I was concerned we had a transcript without a tape. There was a lot at play,” she said.

Hicks told the jury that she had “a good sense this was going to be a massive story,” adding that it was “a damaging development” to the presidential campaign.

“lt was all Trump all the time for the next 36 hours,” Hicks said, referring to the media coverage that followed the release of the tape.

Hicks claimed that former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker told her during a phone call that the deal the tabloid made with former Playboy model Karen McDougal — who alleged she had an affair with Trump — was “for magazine covers and fitness columns and that it was all very legitimate.”

She said that Trump “wanted to hear that from David as well.”

“I believe I have a recollection of us calling and David repeating that to Mr. Trump,” Hicks added.

Hicks claimed that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, told her the story about the $130,000 so-called hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels was not true and that no payment had ever been made. She noted that it “would be out of character” for Cohen to make the payment himself.

Before Trump’s attorney, Emil Bove, started his cross-examination, Hicks began tearing up on the stand and had to take a short break.

When she returned, she told jurors that Cohen had tried to “insert himself” into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and go “rogue” by taking actions not approved by the campaign team. She noted that his unauthorized activities frustrated the Trump team.

“He would try to insert himself at certain moments, but he wasn’t supposed to be on the campaign in any official capacity,” she said of Cohen. “There were things he did in a voluntary capacity because of his interest.”

“He liked to call himself a fixer, or Mr. Fix It, and it was only because he first broke it that he was able to then fix it,” she told jurors.

Anything else?

On Friday morning, the prosecution submitted recordings from Cohen’s phone as evidence in the trial.

Bove noted that between 2016 and 2023, “all sorts of things have happened” with Cohen’s phone, which “present questions about the reliability of the evidence.”

Prosecutor Chris Conroy asked witness Douglas Daus, a forensics and technology expert, whether he saw “any evidence of tampering or manipulation on any of the data that you pulled related to the recording that’s in evidence.” Daus replied that he had not.

During Bove’s recross-examination, he asked Daus whether he noticed “gaps in the handling of this data that created risk for such tampering,” to which Daus replied, “Yes.”

House Republicans, led by House Judiciary Chairman Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), recently launched an investigation into Colangelo, a former top Department of Justice official, Blaze News previously reported. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Jordan argued that New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision to recruit Colangelo as a lead prosecutor in the criminal case against Trump gave the “perception” that the DOJ is assisting in the “politicized prosecution” of the former president.

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